Friday, October 5, 2012

My Flight For Life

Lately it seems I have a plethora of topics to write about here... hopefully this is the last of the scary stories involving my baby's birth, but if not, this set of events have shown me in more ways than I can count who's in control. God is amazing and as each piece of this story unfolds I hope you see His faithfulness and steadfast love that He lavished on Kyle and I.

On Monday morning I woke up around 5:30 to a tremendous amount of bleeding. I called my doctor and told her that despite the bleeding I felt good, no dizziness, the bleeding had slowed significantly, I was hungry, etc. etc. I lost enough blood that we suspected postpartum hemorrhaging, but my lack of other symptoms suggested something else, so she advised me to keep a close eye on it.

A couple hours later I had more bleeding and decided to tell my mother-in-law, who was up to meet her granddaughter and is a nurse, what was going on. I felt a tad tired and decided to take a nap.

Later (and I can't tell you times here because this is where I lose part of the story) she heard me making "strange noises" and came in to check on me. At this time she said I was difficult to wake up and when I did finally wake up I was sweaty and bleeding heavily and constantly. She tried to get me up to use the restroom and I made it about half way out of bed before she decided to dial 911.

In this whole process we were desperately trying to get ahold of Kyle and my mother, who was also up to visit. Apparently I was incoherent enough that I was struggling to answer basic questions, like my own age. When my mom finally did show up I remember asking for Brielle. I honestly thought I was saying good-bye. So I kissed her, told her I loved her and thought that was the last time I was going to see her beautiful face. Deep down I knew that it was not normal to be losing the amount of blood I felt coming out of me, I really thought I was dieing.

When the EMT's showed I remember them asking me to sit up so I could sit in a wheel chair and that's the last thing I remember in this chunk of the story.... I remember telling them, "Whoa, I feel dizzy..." and then nothing...

So this next section is filled in by my mother and Kyle....

Mom said that the moment they tried to get me up and put me in the chair, my arms seized up and I was out. She seriously thought I was having a seizure. She described the event as "creepy" because my arms stiffened straight to my face, fingers crooked, and my eyes were fixated on the ceiling. They immediately moved me to the bed, I went into shock, and they gave me a few rescue breaths. After this mom said the EMT staff left me to try and get the gurney into the house! Leaving me with my Mom and mother-in-law, my eyes fixated again, I stopped breathing again, and both mom and Tammy gave me a hard sternum rub and I "came to." They did everything they could to keep me coherent at this point.

By this time Kyle came home and I do remember seeing him and saying his name over and over again, and him telling me to calm down and breathe. Since they couldn't get the gurney into the house they tried again to move me to the chair and I passed out... again.

Kyle told them he was going to carry me out. So that's what he did.

I remember him carrying me out and talking to me, but I don't really remember anything about the ambulance ride except looking at Kyle's face. Kyle told me that I didn't even look human,

"You were gray, cold, and clammy!"

When I finally showed up in the emergency room they gave me fluids, tried getting two IV's in me (which was impossible), and did everything they could to warm me up.

Mom said, "It was weird because you were sweating and yet ice cold."

Later one of the nurses, who also goes to our church, told me, "Becky, the only time I've ever seen anyone the color you were that day, were dead." Hearing those statements brought me to my knees in thanksgiving that I'm still here.

When the flight for life people showed up I was alert, but exhausted. The process from getting me from the emergency room, to the ambulance, to the helicopter seemed to take forever, because they couldn't get an IV in me. They finally found a vain in my neck, which was the most uncomfortable place to have an IV, but by the end I didn't care as long as they stopped poking me with needles! During all of this our pastor came and prayed with us, I had the chance to talk to my mom and Kyle, and I had hope in the fact that I might actually live.

As I was finally being loaded into the helicopter all I could see was the sky. Immediately the song, Indescribable by Chris Tomlin came into my head. I began singing and praising God for His majesty and the fact that I had LIVED up to this point! I'll be completely honest, singing helped, but I was scared of either losing my uterus or dieing. I didn't want to miss out on my daughters life, I wanted to grow old with Kyle, I still wanted the option of having other children with him, but I was also at peace with dieing. I was going to meet Jesus! How many times had I listened to Mercy Me's song I Can Only Imagine and wondered what I would do in that moment? It is something I look forward to, so instead of praying for me, because I had nothing to fear, I began praying for Kyle, Brielle and my family. I begged God to wrap His loving arms around THEM because I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that if I were to die He'd be welcoming me into His loving arms. Do you know how hard it is to even type that? I have my doubts, I felt weak, and fearful. Even as I type it I wonder how sincere I was in that moment. Only God knows my heart, but I can tell you He was worth praising on that day because the unknown was scary, but God gave me a peace I cannot describe and I look back at each piece of this story and see God's hand at work. Some people may ask, why would God let this happen? I ask instead, what if God wasn't there? What if His sovereign hand wasn't in control? Where would I be if God wasn't in each piece of this story? The Lord, after all, knows the day we first breathe and the day we breathe our last.
"... He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever more." Psalm 121:8
He is my keeper. He is worthy of praise!
"Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8
The moment I let go and trusted God with my life, I was at peace. He's indescribable!

God was even in the cramped helicopter ride. I didn't let myself think about how small of a space they put me into, otherwise I would have gone claustrophobic. I wouldn't call the entire experience a fun one either because I was laying on a board, my butt was cramping, and I was dizzy. The board was not very wide so I kept feeling like I was falling off and my butt kept cramping. So they would tell me to clinch my butt cheeks. Well that helped the cramping, but it didn't help me relax. The moment I relaxed my butt would start cramping and I'd feel like I was falling off again. Ugh. It was a long twenty-five minutes. BUT I kept singing....

Once I arrived I remember someone asking the flight for life staff how much blood I lost and their only reply was, "Buckets." Apparently I continued to lose blood on the ride to Cheyenne. They were pumping blood into me as quickly as I lost it. I received one unit on the flight, two units during surgery, two units after surgery, and two units of plasma. I don't think I have a drop of my own blood left inside me! (That's not counting what they gave me ten days earlier after giving birth! Am I ever so grateful for people who donate blood - I wonder how many people helped save my life?)

They ordered an ultrasound where they discovered a little piece of placenta had attached itself to my uterine wall and was reeking havoc. They decided to perform a D&C where they would clean out my uterus vaginally, however, that didn't stop the bleeding so they had to reopen me. Once the piece of placenta was removed, I began bleeding heavily again because the blood vessel the placenta had attached itself to had burst, and that's when they had to give me more blood. So a forty-five minute surgery lasted two hours.

When I woke up I was in a lot of pain, BUT I WOKE UP! The sweetest part about waking up was going to my room to find my family waiting in the hallway for me. I can't even describe to you the immense feeling of love I had toward each individual waiting there for me to recover. Still, the sweetest part was seeing my husband holding our beautiful baby daughter. I seriously thought I was leaving them behind and seeing them brought a wave of emotion through me that is beyond words. It was a sweet, emotional moment where I thanked God for blessing me with an amazing family.

I look back on the chain of events and can only thank God that His hand was in it all. How awesome is it that Kyle's mom, an RN, was there to wake me up?! How incredible is it that this is the week my mom and sister Mandy are here so they can help care for things around the house, and me?! How amazing is it that I received messages from around the world stating prayers were being sent my way?! The timing is even amazing. Kyle and I had been talking about getting a new mattress, but decided to wait because of finances. Welp, this incident pushed that to the forefront of our "need to do" list (I bled clear through the mattress onto the box spring), so we had talked about tapping into our savings account and just spending the money. The mattress was ruined, we didn't have a choice. The same day we had this conversation our family called and said, "We're buying you a new bed. Kyle needs to go shopping with us." AND our house was destroyed not just because of construction, but because of this emergency situation, but we walked in to a spic-n-span home and a brand new bed and sheets. My sister-in-law Sam even saved our quilt my Aunt Marie made us as a wedding gift! I thought it was a goner. We have an amazing family and we serve an amazing God. He knew our needs (and wants) and He met them!

I can't tell you how good I feel compared to the ten days of "recovery" before experiencing postpartum hemorrhaging. I didn't even realize I was sick. Yes, the road to recovery is now an even longer one, BUT I'M ALIVE! And I thank God for My Flight For Life because I am closer to Him now than I ever was, the love for my husband is once again even stronger than it was before, my baby girl is a little piece of heaven, my family loves me and has blessed me far more than you can imagine, and I have friends that are willing to stop what they're doing, get on their knees and pray. I truly understand what it means to store up heavenly treasures. Jesus taught that lesson and I encourage you to read it all, not just what I summed up here...
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and dust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ... Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? ... seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:25-34
My God and Savior Jesus Christ chose a different day for me to die, until that day I will glorify HIM for this moment in my life and thank Him for blessing me with these eternal "things" like family and friends and HIS abundant grace!


  1. I am a childhood friend of your moms and I am so thankful to God that he kept you safe. As soon as I read the post Marie left on Facebook, I started praying. I had a very similar thing happen after my son was born. Thankfully I was still in the hospital when it happened. Even though I lost a lot of blood too, I didn't have to endure what you went thru. When I was listening to music this morning, one of my favorite songs came on "Rise" by Shawn McDonald. It made me think of you and how Great God is.---Denise

  2. So glad you are okay! What a scary experience! Love you :)

  3. Becky, So glad your on the road to recovery and will fully enjoy that wonderful gift that God has given you and Kyle. We will continue to pray for you guy's.

    We love you and miss you. Can't wait to meet Brielle.

    In his Love

  4. Becky what a beautifully written article. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I will tell you, it brought tears to my eyes. With the strength you have found in your faith, I know you will have a peaceful recovery and a wonderful life to look forward to. Best Wishes, Heather Poss

  5. Becky, how frightening to have gone through this and what a blessing that you are alive to tell of it. Praise God for the medical personnel he has provided to care for us in this fallen world. I admire you so much for being able to write these words. Rebekah

    1. I think it was more frightening for my husband than it was for me, but the growth we have experienced as a result of this is amazing. Thank you for your compliment!